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Polinter13

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  • 1. December 8, 2011
  • 2. Key questions
    • How does the diffusion of ICTS affect the distribution of power?
    • Does it empower individuals and small groups or does it privilege large organizations and institutions?
    • Does it undermine existing hierarchies?
  • 3. Definitions of Power
    • Capabilities-based power
    • Relational power
    • Structural power
  • 4. ICTs and Capabilities: Power Transitions among Big Firms
    • IBM
    • Microsoft
    • Google
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
  • 5. Relational power
    • Definition: A has power over B if A can get B to act against his/her preferences but according to A’s preferences.
    • Relational power can be coercive or non-coercive.
    • If A can persuade B to change his/her preferences to be more like A’s, then A has influenced B without using coercion.
  • 6. Structural Power
    • Definition: the ability to control outcomes that derives from the ability to shape the rules of the system.
    • Example: the ability of the RIAA and MPAA to get the copyright laws they want.
    Example of attempt to alter structural power of copyright holders via the Creative Commons
  • 7. Definitions of Power
    • Robert Dahl and Jack Nagel (relational power)
    • Bachrach and Baratz (non-decisions)
    • Steven Lukes (interests instead of preferences)
    • Susan Strange and Steven Lukes(structural power)
    • Joseph S. Nye (soft power)
    “A Position of Power” video
  • 8. ICTs and Relational Power
    • Google vs. China
    • Google vs. print publishers/authors
    • Google vs. EU on digitized libraries
    • RIAA and MPAA vs. average consumer of digital music and video
    • Cyberdiplomacy
    • Cyber warfare
  • 9. What is Google?
    • Founded 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
    • IPO 2004 ($23 billion)
    • World’s most popular search engine.
    • World’s most popular web site.
    • Built on PageRank technology.
    ASU students video on Google
  • 10. Google Executives
    • Larry Page
    • Eric Schmidt
    • Sergei Brin
    TED video Ken Auletta talking about his book, Googled
  • 11. Google vs. China
    • Jan 27, 2006 Google launches Google.cn
    • Chinese government forces Google.cn to censor certain Internet searches (Dalai Lama, Falun Gong)
    • Chinese government hacks into Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists
    • Google redirects Google.cn searches to Google.hk (Hong Kong), search results not filtered there
    • Google establishes “ evil meter ” to monitor traffic restrictions around the world
    Attack of the Show video
  • 12. Google’s Library of the Future
    • Google makes deals with multiple libraries
      • Google digitizes books for indexing on Google
      • Libraries get free access to full text versions of digitized books plus money
    • In 2005, The Author’s Guild files a class action suit against Google in defense of copyrights
    • Nov 2008 settlement gives authors and publishers royalties on sales of digitized books in exchange for granting Google legal immunity from copyright infringement
  • 13. EU vs. Google
    • European Union opposes Google policies of retaining user information; wants it to follow EU privacy policies
    • Google agrees to anonymize data after 18 months; EU not satisfied with this response
    • Bibliotheque Nationale de France begins project called Gallica 2 Project to digitize books of 50 European publishers; authors support this effort
    • Dec 2010: Google opens an e-bookstore, potential rival to Amazon
  • 14. Cyberwarfare
    • Wikipedia entry
    • 2008: Russian and Georgian sites attacked during the war in South Ossetia
    • 2008: Defense Department reports espionage-oriented attack in the form of a USB flash drive
    • 2009: cyber spy network called GhostNet , using servers in China, taps into classified documents about Tibet in 103 countries
    • 2010: US government uses Stuxnet worm to attack nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz, Iran
  • 15. New Forms of Structural Power: Architectural and Algorithmic Power
    • Who determines ICT architectures?
      • PC platform
      • iPod/iTunes
      • 3G and 4G smart phones
    • Who controls central algorithms?
      • Google search engine
  • 16. Lessons: Impact of Diffusion of ICTs
    • Easier to organize and mobilize people who are separated by great distances
    • Internet users feel more empowered; seem to be more active in politics
    • Greater concern over the monopolization of control over channels for the diffusion of digitized content and power of large companies like Google
    • Google and open source software may be undermining the power of other companies and institutions; in some cases this empowers individuals and small groups but not always
    • An important counterexample in the decline of print media

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